FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Denver Police shows Elisa Pankey. Authorities say a mother charged in the death of her 7-year-old son told a fellow prisoner that the boy died in July, months before his body was discovered encased in concrete inside a Denver storage unit. The information is contained in court records unsealed Tuesday, March 19, 2019, providing a first look at the research that leads to 43-year-old Elisa Pankey’s January arrest. The authorities have released few details about Caden Mcwilliams’ death because his body was discovered in December. (Denver Police via AP,File)
DENVER – a Colorado woman charged in the death of her 7-year-old son told a fellow prisoner that the boy died in July, months before his body was discovered encased in concrete inside a Denver storage unit, according to court records unsealed Tuesday.
The authorities have released few details about the death of Caden McWilliams since his body was discovered in December.
Records where the arrest of his mother, 43-year-old Elisa Pankey, was not available to the public until Tuesday. She is charged with child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse.
A woman whose name is redacted in court records, told the police that Pankey said that she and her husband sometimes forced the boy in an animal carrier.
The woman said Pankey told her that sometime in July they kept him in the carrier overnight, despite his cries of thirst and warm.
Pankey said the boy was dead by morning and she believed that he had suffocated, the records state.
The woman told the police that Pankey said she and her husband took the body of the boy — still in the animal carrier to the storage device, poured concrete over him and hit the carrier in plastic garbage bags.
Leland Pankey, the boy’s father, has remained in prison since the end of December at a prison term. He has not been charged in connection with Mcwilliams’ death.
The records show the police began investigating the family in mid-December after Pankey reported that her husband choked and threatened to kill her.
The records portray a chaotic life, with both parents living in hotels. McWilliams was at school in the end of May. His mother unenrolled him from Denver Public Schools in the fall of 2018, and said that he would be home-schooled.
They told the researchers that Leland Pankey took their son and daughter to live with him in November and had been sending her threatening text messages. Within a week, the police in a suburb of Aurora was arrested Leland Pankey for outstanding warrants in the metro area.
But they could not find McWilliams or to get more information from his parents.
During a search of Elisa Pankey the hotel room, the police found a business card with a number of the unit from a public storage facility in Denver. They also found heroin and took the woman Arapahoe County jail on suspicion of drug possession, the records state.
Denver police opened the storage unit and found a large part of the cement in an animal cage which were wrapped in plastic foil.
Researchers say they discovered a decomposed body in the cement, but could not immediately say whether the remains were of McWilliams.
The Denver coroner’s office later identified with the body, but could not determine how the boy died. An autopsy found signs that McWilliams was severely emaciated and evidence of injuries to his head, chest and limbs, some of which showed signs of healing.
Pankey has not entered a plea and is due back in court April 2. It is represented by the state, the public defenders’ office, which bars the lawyers from commenting on individual cases.
This story has been corrected to show that the boy’s last name is spelled McWilliams.